HSBC suffers $75,000 loss due to loose management of staff

HSBC Bank (Vietnam) Ltd. (HSBC Vietnam) suffered a loss of VND1.7 billion ($74,800) due to its loose management of credit staff, who made fake documents for clients to borrow unsecured consumer loans through credit cards.

HSBC suffers $75,000 loss due to loose management of staff
Cao Thi Anh at the first instance hearing

On July 25, 2017, the Hanoi People’s Court opened the first instance hearing of the case of Cao Thi Anh over charges of misappropriation. After the hearing, the court found Anh guilty of forging HSBC Vietnam’s stamp and documents and sentenced her to four years in prison.

In 2012, Anh was the employee of HSBC Vietnam’s credit department. At the time, HSBC Vietnam was implementing a programme of lending unsecured consumer loans for individual clients.

Regarding preferential borrowers who work for HSBC Vietnam’s corporate clients, their documents should reflect a monthly income of at least VND5 million ($220) and at least one year of employment. Clients did not have to submit their account statements, instead, they needed their companies’ confirmation about their jobs and income.

The monthly income of other clients should be at least VND8 million ($352) and they had to submit account statements reflecting their income in the last three months.

Anh was responsible for seeking borrowers and helping them finish their documents. The appraisal department will check the documents by calling the clients’ companies. In some cases, the appraisal staff checked documents by dealing with other parties besides borrowers and their companies. Based on each income level and borrowers’ requirements, HSBC Vietnam would decide on the loan amount. The maximum amount was ten times the clients’ income specified in their documents.

Cao Thi Anh admitted that due to pressure to reach the bank’s targets, she took advantage of some of her family and friends with private firms, asking them to confirm the employment status and income in the fake documents.

From January to March 2013, Anh helped complete 15 applications for credit cards for individuals who did not meet the requirements to borrow unsecured consumer loans. In particular, she asked her acquaintance in Bien Bac JSC to make six fake documents for her clients to borrow VND915 million ($40,260) in unsecured consumer loans.

Similarly, Anh colluded with a friend in Acom Investment Corporation to confirm the fake documents of 13 individuals who were not the real staff of the company, so that these individuals could borrow a total of VND980 billion ($43,120).

Up till now, these borrowers have failed to pay off debts, which resulted in a loss of VND1.7 billion ($74,800) for HSBC Vietnam.

These clients said that they were not employed at HSBC’s corporate partners and their documents to borrow money were supported by Anh. All they had to do was to sign the application forms to apply for credit cards. Cao Thi Anh told them to tell exactly what the documents mentioned when HSBC Vietnam’s appraisal staff called them to check.

HSBC Vietnam admitted that those falling short of the set targets would be penalised or dismissed. The lawyer of Anh said that her crime was forging the documents of HSBC Vietnam. The uncollected money was considered civil transactions. Regarding civil liabilities, the court allowed HSBC Vietnam to prosecute clients who failed to pay off debts.

By H. Linh



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